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Old 01-08-12, 11:43 AM   #926
wavecharger
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Anecdote, close call at NJ parking lot exit, motorist vs bicyclist
I grew up trained in bicycling saftey by local police/sheriff, hand signals common to both cycling & driving. 30 years later, as a motorist attempting right turn I almost struck a preteen sidewalk cyclist , never saw him. I think we surprised each other, both our brakes slammed & both our tempers flared. In addition, this BMX bicyclist & friend were cycling against traffic of the street...somewhat of a blind spot for me -my priority was for oncoming vehicular traffic on my left side in USA where we drive on the right (other countries would be the reverse). As road citizens-self training (and/or police coaching) would do the worlwide community service by teaching ourselves both to slow down & look out for each other at the curb cuts/drop curb exits. Unfair for me & all other motorists, to take of this burden... cycling kids/adult must take some of that responsibility once approaching parking lot exit, truck docks, etc. SLOW DOWN and proceed with caution. This applies, especially on sidewalk against the flow of traffic. Otherwise had this kid not jammed on his pedal brake, he might have gone head first across my hood...Alright, I'll give him credit for his helmet, though.
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Old 01-09-12, 07:43 AM   #927
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Anecdote, close call at NJ parking lot exit, motorist vs bicyclist
I grew up trained in bicycling saftey by local police/sheriff, hand signals common to both cycling & driving. 30 years later, as a motorist attempting right turn I almost struck a preteen sidewalk cyclist , never saw him. I think we surprised each other, both our brakes slammed & both our tempers flared. In addition, this BMX bicyclist & friend were cycling against traffic of the street...somewhat of a blind spot for me -my priority was for oncoming vehicular traffic on my left side in USA where we drive on the right (other countries would be the reverse). As road citizens-self training (and/or police coaching) would do the worlwide community service by teaching ourselves both to slow down & look out for each other at the curb cuts/drop curb exits. Unfair for me & all other motorists, to take of this burden... cycling kids/adult must take some of that responsibility once approaching parking lot exit, truck docks, etc. SLOW DOWN and proceed with caution. This applies, especially on sidewalk against the flow of traffic. Otherwise had this kid not jammed on his pedal brake, he might have gone head first across my hood...Alright, I'll give him credit for his helmet, though.
scary - glad you are both alright
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Old 01-19-12, 04:19 PM   #928
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Today's story ...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GIb8MT5tQHI
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Old 01-19-12, 06:07 PM   #929
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I have to say, I'm no longer completely opposed to sidewalk bicycling. At first I thought it was an all or nothing proposition, and came down firmly on the side of cycling in the roadway. However, since I've taken up BMX, I've arrived at another conclusion.

As long as I'm not in a hurry, it's often safer and easier for me to use the sidewalk. One reason I don't often use the road is that it's very tiring to keep up any reasonable speed on a bike with that gearing. Another reason is that I can't signal very effectively, riding a bike one handed while standing is a bad idea, and sitting makes the signal less visible.

However, riding on the sidewalk means that I have to be much more aware of my surroundings. I have to check for cars approaching from behind whenever there is a possibility they will be turning. I have to slowly and carefully enter driveways, as they are often blind. I also have to cooperate with pedestrians and usually maintain a pace not much faster than walking.

As long as people approach sidewalk bicycling as a special form of cycling that requires special responsibilities, I no longer have a problem with it.

That said, I want to smack some of the cyclists on campus here upside the head for stupidity.
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Old 01-19-12, 06:14 PM   #930
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saw an older guy today who I WISH would have been on the sidewalk. he was happily cruising down the right lane facing traffic.
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Old 01-23-12, 09:49 AM   #931
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Are there really that many people riding regularly on the sidewalk instead of the road? I've been riding an awfully long time & the only people I see on the sidewalk are kids.
I think most adults realize that sidewalks were made for pedestians not bicyclists.
In Michigan Cyclists can ride on the sidewalks and are considered as pedestrians. I don't see anything wrong with it, but, I live in Suburbs, with little pedestrians, sidewalks only on one side of the road or not existent. Many roads here are in pretty bad shape and are very curvy with no room for cyclist...
I guess it depends where u live. I was never "almost killed" on the sidewalk, but I cheated death many, many times every time I was on the road...I will stick to the sidewalks, bicycle paths and trails...
Keep Riding and stay safe!
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Old 01-27-12, 06:46 AM   #932
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In Michigan Cyclists can ride on the sidewalks and are considered as pedestrians. I don't see anything wrong with it, but, I live in Suburbs, with little pedestrians, sidewalks only on one side of the road or not existent. Many roads here are in pretty bad shape and are very curvy with no room for cyclist...
I guess it depends where u live. I was never "almost killed" on the sidewalk, but I cheated death many, many times every time I was on the road...I will stick to the sidewalks, bicycle paths and trails...
Keep Riding and stay safe!
What's your average speed when riding on a sidewalk? I guess it depends on the location, but even the best around here require me to keep it somewhat slow and then you got the numerous intersections and the bike always has to at least yeild. We don't really have too many bike paths around here, but I've ridden quite extensively on the paths around Washington, D.C. and even those things require a slower than optimum speed, not just because of heavy traffic, but also blind corners.

I'm sorry about your road conditions, makes me glad I live here.
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Old 01-27-12, 05:36 PM   #933
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Just got the nerve to try going from my house in West Nashville to Downtown where I work.

About 6 miles one way. I have a few options, and usually take a more indirect route and use a bikeway and posted bike route.

If I use the new bike lanes on the main road, ( posted 40 mph ), there are two spots that the lane disappears and I jump on the sidewalk.

The sections without a marked lane narrows and just feels safer on the sidewalk.

I know it is against the law here, but I'll just do this till I get in trouble and try to explain things. ( hoping my white hair will help and I have found that anytime I give over my Id, I make sure they see my retired military id. Seems to help...)

Only doing 1 to 2 days a week right now, since I am slowly turning my MTB into a passable commuter.

and I am loving it...
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Old 01-30-12, 07:18 AM   #934
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How do you find it riding to and from work? I took 2 weeks off over the Holidays and when I started back up again I found my cardio was way down.
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Old 01-30-12, 11:46 AM   #935
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What's your average speed when riding on a sidewalk? I guess it depends on the location, but even the best around here require me to keep it somewhat slow and then you got the numerous intersections and the bike always has to at least yeild. We don't really have too many bike paths around here, but I've ridden quite extensively on the paths around Washington, D.C. and even those things require a slower than optimum speed, not just because of heavy traffic, but also blind corners.

I'm sorry about your road conditions, makes me glad I live here.
My average speed is anywhere between 10 and 13 mph when riding on sidewalks /mountain and hybrid bike/. There is many intersections that I have to slow down or stop. Riding sidewalks is mostly to get me to my favorite trails /rails to trails/
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Old 02-02-12, 05:24 PM   #936
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My average speed commuting is 20mph or more with tailwinds. Riding on the sidewalk sucks for me. It tears up my bike, I get stuck behind bums on rusty unkept bikes, or old farts, or kids walking. Today some guy without a helmet riding a wobbly bike down the sidewalk said I must have a deathwish because I was riding on the road. I then proceeded to hang out at my LBS and make fun of how ****ing stupid that guy was.
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Old 02-06-12, 07:38 AM   #937
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The route I take to work is pretty industrial - very few pedestrians on the sidewalks and lots of trucks loading in and out - this last friday while riding in there was a truck unloading on the street and the car in front of me took the sidewalk! I was just glad he was in front of me and not behind me - would have scared the crap out of me seeing him barreling down the sidewalk
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Old 02-06-12, 10:42 AM   #938
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I ride sometimes on the sidewalks but i take it slow and carefully, i switch between roads and sidewalks depending on which has the least traffic. also it gets somewhat annoying when people built a side-by-side barrier with their friends as they walk down the side walks, it is not very easy to get around.
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Old 02-08-12, 09:03 PM   #939
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It's a moot point here. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal in Ga. As far as the law is concerned, a bicycle is a vehicle, and anyone riding a bicycle is a "driver'. It is illegal in Ga. to operate a vehicle of any kind on any sidewalk. This can even include tricycles ridden by toddlers.
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Old 02-13-12, 07:01 AM   #940
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It's a moot point here. Riding on the sidewalk is illegal in Ga. As far as the law is concerned, a bicycle is a vehicle, and anyone riding a bicycle is a "driver'. It is illegal in Ga. to operate a vehicle of any kind on any sidewalk. This can even include tricycles ridden by toddlers.
I'm somewhat indifferent to laws/ordinances prohibiting bikes on the sidewalk, simply because I don't use them. However, in a perfect world I think it'd be great that no such laws existed, but I also realize why some localities feel the need to enact such laws, and that's because certain cyclists (or in many cases just people on bikes) can't/won't ride in such a manner as to be safe with respect to pedistrians --- I see it all the time around here, the bike is a vehicle, but people ride it with the mindset of a toy.

However, I can not understand a law that prohibits a toddler on a tricycle from riding on the sidewalk. But I know this can become a sticky question, because then it leads to "at what age" do we force bikers off sidewalks.
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Old 02-20-12, 04:34 AM   #941
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The law isn't actively enforced against toddlers, for obvious reasons. It depends on the situation. They most likely would not say anything about a 3 year-old on a tricycle in front of his own house, but that same toddler ridding in front of a busy grocery store would be a problem. And there are parents who allow their children to do things like this, and don't even pay any attention half of the time. That's only one of the reasons why they have to have the laws.

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I'm somewhat indifferent to laws/ordinances prohibiting bikes on the sidewalk, simply because I don't use them. However, in a perfect world I think it'd be great that no such laws existed, but I also realize why some localities feel the need to enact such laws, and that's because certain cyclists (or in many cases just people on bikes) can't/won't ride in such a manner as to be safe with respect to pedistrians --- I see it all the time around here, the bike is a vehicle, but people ride it with the mindset of a toy.

However, I can not understand a law that prohibits a toddler on a tricycle from riding on the sidewalk. But I know this can become a sticky question, because then it leads to "at what age" do we force bikers off sidewalks.
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Old 02-20-12, 01:58 PM   #942
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Here is a letter to ed one doesn't see so often:

Ban bicyclists from our sidewalks


"With many inconsiderate cyclists dominating the sidewalks, it is dangerous to be a pedestrian these days."
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Old 02-20-12, 02:49 PM   #943
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Where I live, Saskatchewan, it is illegal to bicycle on the sidewalk unless the rider is under 12 years of age (this falls under the jurisdiction of the province's motor vehicle act). That being said, there are roadways on which it is pretty scary to ride anywhere but the sidewalk and some where it would be impossible to ride on the street. I've never heard of anyone being ticketed for riding on the sidewalk, although I have seen police officers tell people to walk their bikes while on downtown sidewalks.

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Old 02-21-12, 07:01 AM   #944
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Here is a letter to ed one doesn't see so often:

Ban bicyclists from our sidewalks


"With many inconsiderate cyclists dominating the sidewalks, it is dangerous to be a pedestrian these days."
I've seen them here "inconsiderate cyclists", but the thing is the vast majority of them are not "cyclists", they're fools on a bike. And I've seen them do some really stupid things, and they are the reason why Florida is the Death Capital of the U.S. WRT cyclists.

I ride on these roads every day, Florida is no different than any other state I've rode in.
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Old 03-08-12, 12:12 PM   #945
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Isn't it amazing how things get so twisted and convoluted???

The original paved roads in this country, were made for the use of bicycles and horse drawn carriages. Bicycles were not allowed to use any path earmarked for pedestrian use. When Ford's model Ts started to be cranked out of Detroit like bread from a bakery, they were absolutely hated by almost everyone that used the roads. They were large, loud, leaked fluids all over the place, and they were so heavy that they constantly damaged the pavement, forcing local government to have to spend money to repair them, (which is why state and local road taxes started for automobiles or as they were known during those times, the horseless buggys). After WWII, with the booming economy during the industrial revolution, every household could afford a modest automobile, and bicycles declined as a common mode of transportation. People just didn't see that many cyclists on the roads anymore since those times until very recently. Unfortunately, that has given a false perception to most car driver's these days, that bicycles have no business being on the road. That the roads are the sole and exclusive medium and domain for motored vehicles. And the lack of proper education for both motored vehicle operators and cyclists, not to mention the lack of proper state, city, and county ordenance and education has perpetuated this false impression.

More and more people, every single day, are taking to the roads on bicycles for all kind of reasons, not just for transportation or commuting alone. That... is NOT going to change. Setting up the proper infrastructure for cyclists use these days would be so easy AND so cost effective, that it borders on the ridiculous. Just a little widening of the road, and some paint to properly mark and put in place the proper road signs for bicycles. And I mean, the cost, would be so negligible as to be non existent. What would take the longest to execute, would be the proper education for BOTH motored vehicle operators and cyclists. Then, the states and local governments would then be able to properly incorporate into regulation the use of bicycles on public roads... something that is not taking place right now. Unfortunately, our various state and local governing bodies have a vested interest in keeping certain special groups happy and keeping the status quo. But again, the fact is that we will all see more and more bicycles on the road than ever before. And this fact can not simply be ignored or dismissed anymore. It needs to be addressed immediately for the safety of all parties involved.

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Old 04-14-12, 07:55 AM   #946
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when sidewalks are clear and next to an arterial, I will use them if it makes sense. it's legal here to, as long as you're going the directiion of adjoining traffic. still, I am extra carefull watching pullouts and pull-ins. I'm not breaking any land speed records.
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Old 04-15-12, 11:13 AM   #947
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the problem with 'bike' paths along shoulders of a road is they are never kept clean, they are an afterthought around here filled with gravel from vehicles who drive on gravel roads then shed that gravel in town. I ride with traffic... part of the bike path I ride while in WI goes against the traffic... only for a half mile, but it's traffic going 50mph and I always thought that was odd, that they needed to complete the off road path and not have people driving against fast traffic.

I avoid the sidewalk almost completely. But I would use them if I had to ride on a major artery that's heavily congested. I just don't do that. Simple solution.
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Old 05-18-12, 10:39 AM   #948
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OK, I'd like to get some reports of actual experiences -- not opinions. Here's the question:

What actually happens when cities make it legal to use bikes on sidewalks outside the central business district?

My city is considering a change to its ordinance. I am aware of most of the sides of the debate; I'm also aware that many cities (including Portland) have chosen to allow sidewalk cycling in some areas. I don't know how that choice has changed anything in practice (if at all). Can you fill me in?
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Old 06-30-12, 06:01 PM   #949
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I agree completely... why would anyone want to ride their bike on a sidewalk?? Why even bother to get your bike out in the first place?
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Old 06-30-12, 07:42 PM   #950
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For most of my life I rode sidewalks. I considered road cycling to be a more advanced level for people who could afford new bikes, helmets, lights, etc. Some of my favorite MUPs become sidewalks, so I considered them to be approximately the same thing. The differences now are my bent with 20" wheels and my sore back on sidewalk bumps, and I bought a helmet. I want a smoother ride, but in many areas both are bumpy.
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